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Total number of patients who waited for their first appointment with surgeon after the referral is received by the surgeon’s office or CIAC
Alternate Name
Number of patients who waited for their first surgical appointment after receiving a referral

Among patients who had a surgery or procedure completed, this indicator measures the number of patients who had wait time measured, that is wait time, in days, from when the surgeon or central intake centre receives the referral to the patient having the first appointment with the surgeon.

The indicator is reported by the priority level with the most patients. Patients are assigned a priority level for their appointment by the physician based on clinical evidence.

HQO Reporting tool/product
Public reporting
Unit of Measurement
Number of patients
Calculation Methods

Total count of patient consults meeting the inclusion/exclusion criteria.


  1. All closed wait list entries with procedure dates within the reporting period.                                 

  2. For adult surgical procedures, patients that are 18 years and older on the day the procedure was completed.

  3. For paediatric surgical procedures, patients that are younger than 23 years on the day the procedure was completed.

  4. Treatment Cancer procedures only.

  5. Patients who were referred for consult as new referrals and re-referrals with referral dates and consult dates

  6. Patients assigned as Priority Level 2 - 4 for specialist consult (Wait 1)


  1. Diagnostic, Palliative and Reconstructive cancer procedures.                                                     

  2. Procedures on Skin - Carcinoma, Skin-Melanoma, and Lymphomas.                                           

  3. Procedures no longer required cases                                                                                        

  4. Patients assigned as Priority Level 1 for specialist consult (Wait 1)

  5. Wait list entries identified by hospitals as data entry errors.

Numerator (short description i.e. not inclusions/exclusions)
Denominator (short description i.e. not inclusions/exclusions)
Adjustment (risk, age/sex standardization)- generalized
Data Source
Wait Time Information System (WTIS)
Data provided to HQO by
Cancer Care Ontario (CCO)
Reported Levels of comparability /stratifications (defined)
Corporation, Priority level, Province, Time
Caveats and Limitations
1. This indicator is only collected for patients who have completed their surgery. That is, for patients who do not proceed to surgery or for those who have not yet completed their surgery, this indicator is not available. 2. This indicator is reported not at the surgeon level but rather at the level of the facility where the procedure took place. 3. Ninety among 114 surgical facilities in Ontario report surgical wait times to the WTIS; the remaining 24 facilities do not receive wait time funding for reporting and so do not report wait times. 4. Hospitals with small volumes will be more severely impacted by extreme waits (particularly the average wait time). For example, an unusually long or short wait time for a single patient in a reporting period for hospitals that do not treat a lot of patients (e.g., a small hospital performing cataract surgery) will have a greater impact on the average. 5. Since Wait Time data is reported at the hospital corporation or facility level, facilities with multiple sites will be reported together even though data is collected at each site. Wait Times may also vary by surgeon which will not be apparent in this data as it is reported at the institution level rather than individual surgeon. 6. There are other factors that affect wait times for a surgical procedure or diagnostic exam that do not relate to a hospital’s efficiency, to a particular doctor or the availability of resources. They include: • Patient Choice – a patient with a non-life-threatening condition may choose a non-surgical treatment or may decide to delay treatment for personal or family reasons to a more convenient time. • Patient Condition – a patient’s condition may need to improve before the surgery or exam takes place. • Follow-up Care – a patient who has an existing condition may be pre-booked for a follow-up treatment or exam a long time in advance. • Treatment Complexity – a patient with special requirements may need specific equipment or a certain kind of facility and there is a delay until these can be scheduled.
Acute Care/Hospital
Wait Times
Wait Time Information System (WTIS)
Publish Datetime
09/08/2017 17:21:00